Major Sporting Events of 2024 (And Their Notable Marketing Strategies)

Major Sporting Events of 2024

The 2024 sports calendar is brimming with games and races, featuring traditional annual tournaments and exciting new competitions. In this article, we present a curated selection of events that should undoubtedly make it onto your bucket list—whether you plan to catch the action online, on TV, or in person as a part of the live audience.

Sporting events aren't just about world records, unexpected twists, or breathtaking finishes. They are also about the unique sense of camaraderie that brings people from all walks of life together: athletes, fans, organizers, behind-the-scenes workers—and, last but not least, media representatives. After all, without press coverage, we wouldn't be able to make this list, or know when to attend, what to anticipate, and who to root for.

To give our overview more depth, we'll also look at the competitions from a marketing perspective: to learn from their best practices and see how something as physical as the 2024 sporting events blends in with today's digital-first world.


Brief History of Sports Coverage: From Print to Digital

In Ancient Greece, where the Olympics originated, news about the games spread primarily through word of mouth. Messengers known as ‘spondorophoroi' would travel from city to city and announce the upcoming sporting events. With the rise of newspapers in the 17th century, tournament schedules and summaries started to appear in print. Publishers reported the outcomes of major competitions, such as horse races and boxing matches. The only way to see an event was still to actually attend one.

In the early 20th century, radio was invented, and quickly became a popular channel for live commentary and updates on games like baseball or football. More and more people could follow a broadcast in real time. Then, the 1936 Berlin Olympics became the first sporting competition televised live. Other significant events, like the World Cup or Super Bowl, started reaching millions of viewers worldwide. For the first time ever, fans had the opportunity to watch an entire tournament from the comfort of their home.

Today, technology has transformed the way we consume and engage with sports content:

  • With the advent of the internet, media coverage extended to online news portals and sports newsletters with real-time updates, scores, and text broadcasts.
  • Social media platforms like Facebook, X, or Instagram have event highlights and fan interactions shaping the narrative of each competition.
  • Streaming services and YouTube are now more in-demand than the traditional TV broadcasting, with live sessions or recordings of all the games.
  • Mobile apps offer an endless reel of personalized sports content and relevant scores, and deliver the information via push notifications.
  • Digital publications like online flipbooks are the go-to format for gameday programs or sports pamphlets, since these documents require streamlined sharing and easy updates.

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2024 Sporting Events: The Lineup

🎾 Australian Open

First on the tennis Grand Slam calendar is the Australian Open, held at its usual venue of Melbourne Park from January 14 to 28. 800 players from 68 countries will come to compete in the intense summer heat of Melbourne, Victoria. Aryna Sabalenka and Novak Djokovic are the defending champions for women's and men's singles, ready to claim their titles in a series of thrilling matches. The crowd will also enjoy games for doubles and mixed doubles: 1,000,000 fans are going to see the tournament live. And if you've missed the action this year, tickets for AO 2025 are already on sale.

As for notable marketing efforts that the Australian Open employs, they're very active on YouTube—the channel has 2,000,000 followers—mixing short informal videos, interviews with players, and full match recordings. Sharing personal stories and behind-the-scenes content builds excitement for the upcoming season, and highlights with the best moments from matches attract new fans to the sport.


🏊 World Aquatics Championships

Among the big sporting events of 2024, the World Aquatics Championships are a known fan favorite. This year, they are coming to the Middle East from February 11 to 18. The Aspire Dome's two Olympic pools in Doha, Qatar will serve as the venue. Over 2,600 athletes will compete across 6 sports: artistic swimming, diving, open water, swimming, water polo, and high diving—and 75 medal events. Swimming icons and rising stars are likely to break a few records in the race for individual and team World Championship titles. In a way, the event is a dry run for the upcoming Olympics, since several quotas will be secured by athletes and teams yet to qualify for Paris 2024.

The team behind the tournament did a great job in crafting their brand story—told by two distinctive mascots, Nahim the Qatari shark and Mayfara the coral. Organizers have incorporated ocean conservation into the mascots' design and background, using them to raise awareness and educate younger audiences in a fun and interactive way. Life-size mascots and toys are also effective for generating buzz on social media and attracting additional revenue through merchandise.

World Aquatics Championship

Source: World Aquatics


🏎️ Formula 1

The 2024 Formula 1 season (February–December) presents an action-packed 24-race calendar, meant to test the limits of teams, personnel, and designer cars. The excitement kicks off with back-to-back races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, followed by sprints in Australia, Japan, Canada, Europe, Brazil, US, and the final Grand Prix in the UAE. Overall, this global spectacle will span 20 countries and 5 continents, with 10 teams and 20 drivers competing on classic tracks and daring street circuits. Red Bull and Max Verstappen are aiming to pick up where they left off last year, and reclaim their current title of F1 World Drivers' Champion.

Formula 1 Tournament

Max Verstappen. Photo by David Ramos for Red Bull


By dominating Formula 1 races as a team, Red Bull is associating their name with success. In 2023, their F1 participation has directly led to higher sales of the energy drink. The company was very strategic in choosing this championship as a promotional platform, as the concept of performance racing goes so well with their main product. You can try the same marketing approach for your own campaigns—by sponsoring events that resonate with your brand identity to reach a new audience and drive sales.


🏈 Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the highly anticipated final match of the National Football League season, a premier championship for American football. On February 11, The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will compete at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Two-thirds of all US households annually watch the match on TV, and over 100 million viewers join them on various streaming platforms.

However, it's not just die-hard American football fans who tune in. Many are drawn by the accompanying spectacle and advertisements that make the Super Bowl a cultural phenomenon beyond sports. In 2024, the iconic halftime show with performances from top pop artists will feature Alicia Keys, H.E.R.,, Ludacris, Lil Jon, and more stars.

The cost of a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl reaches $7 million USD, but most advertisers say it's worth it. Take a look at this Verizon promotion clip starring Beyoncé. She tries to break the Verizon's 5G network, all while giving us an overview of the latest social trends: live game streaming, a Barbie movie parody, her version of AI and automation, and a presidential run of sorts.


🏒 IIHF World Championship

The Ice Hockey World Championships, organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), will take place in Prague and Ostrava of the Czech Republic. The world's 16 best national ice hockey teams are scheduled to play a total of 64 games from May 10 to 26. Team Canada is aiming to repeat their gold medal performance at the 2023 tournament and win back-to-back titles as men's world champions.

IIHF is using their website to engage fans and enhance marketing at the same time. They embrace gamification with a leaderboard for predicting game scores, where you can compete with friends or fellow hockey lovers. All Instagram posts with the #mensworlds hashtag end up on a digital fan photo wall, which encourages user-generated content. Finally, the IIHF team offers a chance to win a signed jersey for participating in a survey, so they're able to gather insights about their audience.

IIHF Digital Fan Wall

Source: IIHF


⚽ UEFA European Championship

June sports events are particularly abundant this year, and the UEFA European Championship is at the top of every football fan's list. From June 14 to July 14, Germany will welcome the 17th Euro edition, where the best 24 men's football teams from across Europe are to battle for the win. Ticket sales end in May, so if you want to catch the action live, you'll have to hurry. Prices to watch the final at Berlin's Olympiastadion range from €35 to €2,000 for prime seats. Experts say England, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal will be the toughest teams to beat.

All the Euro 2024 tickets are distributed through their official mobile app. It serves as a direct channel for booking information, real-time match updates, personalized news, and exclusive player interviews. UEFA uses the app as an interactive platform to create a better experience for fans and advertise their brand at the same time. They also can collect valuable analytics for future ticketing strategies and tailored content creation.

Euro 2024 App

Source: UEFA


🚲 Tour de France

The list of upcoming sports events wouldn't be complete without the Tour de France. The tournament schedule, as usual, consists of 21 day-long stages and a couple of rest days. The 2024 men's competition starts earlier than usual, on June 29, to allow a week between the end of the race on July 21 and the Olympic Games opening ceremony. For the first time in history, the final stage is in Nice and not near Paris, all due to the sporting events in July as well.

The race starts in Florence and goes through four Italy stages before the convoy heads across the Alps into France. Tour de France riders will cover approximately 3,500 kilometers, and most of them say that the route this year is quite tough—with lots of gravel tracks, steep climbs, and limited opportunities for sprinters. Viewers will definitely keep an eye on the defending champion Jonas Vingegaard and the legendary cyclist Mark Cavendish, who has postponed his retirement for one more year in hopes of breaking the stage win record.

Tour de France isn't just famous for the race itself: its publicity caravan, opening the show with a festive parade, is an essential part of the fun. The convoy passes each stage a few hours before the peloton, with decorated and branded vehicles giving away freebies. According to CNN, 47% of the fans come primarily for this spectacle: music, dancing, and the shower of chocolates, cheese, key rings, race caps, stuffed toys, and other merchandise raining on top of their heads. Sponsors vie to create the most eye-catching cars and floats to promote their brand, turning the caravan into a creative marketing showcase. And for locals, Tour de France provides a unique opportunity to advertise their business and the region itself to an international audience.

A Reel of Tour de France Advertisers

Source: SponsorUnited


🏟️ Summer Olympics

Paris, France will host the XXXI Summer Olympics from July 26 to August 11, 2024. This will be the third time for the French capital to welcome the Games, the last one being exactly a century ago, in 1924. Yet, there are a lot of firsts, too: the opening ceremony is not going to be inside a stadium. Instead, a procession of floats, boats, and water platforms will move along the River Seine.

We can expect four new disciplines: break dancing, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing (taking place in Tahiti, which is a French territory). Traditional crowd favorites include gymnastics, athletics, swimming, and football. Ticket prices vary from sport to sport and the kind of seating you choose, from €24 for handball matches to €3,000 for the opening ceremony—that is, if spots are still available.

The 2024 games are the first to be fully aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, and organizers have pledged to stick to the highest sustainability standard. The team is committed to reduce the Games' carbon footprint with innovative strategies to rent or reuse sports equipment, energy sources, and transportation means. From spectator seating to chairs, tables, meals, and even tennis balls—every asset has been meticulously planned. This differentiation can attract more attention and positive publicity, setting the event apart from all the previous Olympic Games.

Olympic Games Sustainability Statement

Source: The World Economic Forum


🦾 Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

To round off the sporting events in August, the 2024 Summer Paralympics will be held in Paris from August 28 to September 8. As with the Olympic Games, the majority of the tournaments will be happening in Paris, with 20 competition venues peppered throughout the city's iconic sites. Squares and parks like Place de la Concorde, Champs de Mars, or Jardin de Luxembourg will be equipped with large screens for live broadcasting. Spectators can enjoy the views of the city along with the sports program.

Around 4,400 athletes are expected to participate in a range of disciplines: blind football, para athletics, sitting volleyball, para swimming, wheelchair tennis, and 18 more, with 549 events in total. Tickets for the opening ceremony and almost all events are still available. Paris officials are implementing a lot of changes to make public spaces and transport more accessible. The Olympic mascot also has a disabled counterpart with a prosthetic leg for diverse representation.

To make sure that fans of all abilities can easily find important event details, the team behind the Paralympic Games put a lot of effort into making their website and marketing collateral ADA compliant. For example, page designs use contrasting colors and bold fonts, site maps have marked wheelchair access, and schedules always come with a screen reader version. Online content that meets accessibility requirements is likely to be more user-friendly for everyone, so we can all strive to deliver an inclusive web experience.

Paralympic Games Schedule

Source: Paris 2024 Paralympic Games


🏏 Women's T20 World Cup

Did you know that cricket is now also an Olympic sport? The International Committee has recently approved it for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. That means, if you haven't followed cricket before, now is the perfect time to start: with the Women's T20 World Cup, October 3–20. The 2024 tournament is held in Bangladesh, with England targeting their first trophy since the inaugural games in 2009, and Australia aiming for a third champion title in a row. Ten teams will play 23 matches over 18 days full of unexpected twists, strategic plays, and stunning displays of teamwork.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) offers an extensive library of downloadable content—like the official sport program template with group fixtures—to aid the press. Judging by the now-available 2023 media guide, which walks you through every game aspect from tournament records to player backgrounds, the ICC marketing team is committed to giving the matches the best coverage possible. However, journalists, photographers, and broadcasters must register to access the media zone portal. By gating resources, organizers can control the flow of information and ensure accurate and consistent messaging.


ICC Media Guide

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This concludes our list of the major sporting events for 2024. We hope you've found a competition to watch live or maybe even visit in person! And if you're a marketer, like us, go beyond following your favorite tournaments—pay attention to the behind-the-scenes digital efforts that enhance fan engagement and experience, and learn from their best practices.

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